Understanding Keratoconus

Keratoconus PortlandKeratoconus is a condition of the cornea that can make some activities difficult, such as driving, typing on a computer, watching television or reading. If you think you may have keratoconus or you have been diagnosed by an eye doctor, we believe that reading this page on the Maine Eye Center website will be useful. Our Portland, Maine eye doctors can help you better understand your condition and recommend treatment options that suit your specific needs.

Keratoconus creates visual symptoms by causing thinning and irregular bulging of the cornea. Keratoconus literally means cone-shaped cornea.

The cornea is the most important refractive element of your eye. As light enters the eye, it refracts, or focuses, the light rays so that you can see clearly. In the case of keratoconus, the light entering the eye not evenly bent resulting in a blurred and distorted image. Some patients have described this as looking through a bumpy piece of glass.

According to the National Keratoconus Foundation, about 1 out of 2000 individuals will be affected by keratoconus. Most cases of keratoconus are discovered in adolescence or young adulthood. When the blur from unusual degrees of astigmatism prompt an eye examination – and symptoms generally worsen over time. It is believed that an abnormality of the connective tissue that composes the cornea allows progressive thinning and stretching of the cornea, allowing it to curve outward like a cone rather than a normal spherical shape. Rigid gas permeable contact lenses are generally used in this stage to allow correction. If the disease progresses even further and contact lenses become inadequate, the next step may be a corneal transplant surgery.

Symptoms of keratoconus:

Keratoconus usually affects both eyes, however; symptoms in each eye may differ. Those with keratoconus may first notice symptoms in their late teens and early twenties, including:

  • Blurring of vision
  • Distortion of vision
  • Glare and/or sensitivity to light
  • Irritation, especially contact lens associated.

What questions should I ask my eye doctors regarding keratoconus?

  1. How progressive is this eye disease in my case?
  2. What are the treatment options are appropriate available for me?
  3. Is a corneal transplant necessary in my case?
  4. What happens if this gets worse?

If you seeking keratoconus eye doctors in Maine please do not hesitate to contact us at your convenience.
* New research is being done with a process called corneal crosslinking and is currently under FDA Investigation